|Publication number||US20050028709 A1|
|Application number||US 10/637,220|
|Publication date||Feb 10, 2005|
|Filing date||Aug 8, 2003|
|Priority date||Aug 8, 2003|
|Also published as||US7455017|
|Publication number||10637220, 637220, US 2005/0028709 A1, US 2005/028709 A1, US 20050028709 A1, US 20050028709A1, US 2005028709 A1, US 2005028709A1, US-A1-20050028709, US-A1-2005028709, US2005/0028709A1, US2005/028709A1, US20050028709 A1, US20050028709A1, US2005028709 A1, US2005028709A1|
|Inventors||Gary Carpenter, Robbie Powell|
|Original Assignee||Gary Carpenter, Powell Robbie Rex|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (25), Referenced by (2), Classifications (8), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention is related to a packaging system, and more particularly to a synthetic packaging system for supporting appliances.
Packaging pallets are typically made of wood and are commonly constructed using a box frame with deck boards attached to form a flat surface. Wood pallets perform the desired function however, the wood pallets add excessive weight and cost and are environmentally wasteful. A manufacturer's goods are then placed upon the flat surface of the pallet for transport. Pallets are designed to allow for ease of transportation and allow for movement through the use of mechanical means such as a forklift. However, a manufacturer must account for the additional costs associated with the additional delivery weight of a pallet and packaging.
Plastic pallets have been developed to meet some of the shortcomings of wood pallets. An example of such a pallet is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,352,039 entitled “Plastic Pallet,” issued to Woods, et al. The plastic pallet includes a frame and deck boards attached to the frame without the use of mechanical fasteners. A second example is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,581,681 entitled “Pallet,” issued to Newton. In the Newton patent, a pallet constructed of a thin-walled, resinous shell filled with a foam core bonded to the inside surface of the shell. The shell of the Newton pallet includes integral support beams spaced appropriately to accommodate a forklift. The Newton pallet is constructed to meet basic strength requirements at a low cost.
A benefit of transporting goods attached to pallets is that the pallet can provide protection from external elements. An example of such a system is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,244,471 entitled “Packaging System,” issued to Plante. In the Plante packaging system, top and bottom caps for packaging appliances are shown. The top and bottom caps are attached via a plurality of corner angles extending vertically between the top and bottom caps. The corner angles have a length greater than the height of the appliance so that a space exists between the appliance and the top cap. The packaging system is rigid and thus allows multiple systems to be placed upon each other.
Pallets are also used in the manufacture of appliances. The base of the appliance is fixedly attached to the pallet before construction. The pallet is moved down an assembly line via a conveyor belt or other transportation system and the appliance is constructed on the base. Once construction is completed, the remaining packaging is attached to the pallet and the appliance is then transported to its destination. The remaining packaging system often includes a cardboard box that fits over the appliance. Often the corners of the cardboard box are reinforced with a light metal, Styrofoam, corrugated or paperwrap corners.
The invention provides a packing system for use with the transportation and manufacture of an appliance, such as refrigerators, ranges and the like. The system includes a pallet, corner support members and spacing members. In the preferred embodiment, each of these pieces fits into a correlated cardboard box and can be used together or separately. The pallet comprises support members and connecting cross members, wherein the cross members are substantially perpendicular to the support members. The first and second support members include attachment holes, wherein the attachment holes allow for the attachment of the pallet to the appliance. The first and second support members and cross members are manufactured from a synthetic substance and are substantially hollow. The corner support members are used to reinforce the corners of the cardboard box and protect the edges of the appliance. The corner support can be members of various shapes and lengths sized for specific applications. The spacing members are used to position the appliance in the cardboard box and to protect various protrusions on the appliance from damage.
A system according to the preferred embodiment of the invention reduces the weight and costs of the packaging and can be recycled. Another advantage of the disclosed invention is the reduction of damage to the system by outside elements. For instance, pallets made according to the invention do not absorb moisture and odors and do not disintegrate after exposure to such elements.
For a more complete understanding of the present invention, and for further details and advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following Detailed Description taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:
FIGS. 5A-D are section views of support members according to alternate embodiments of the invention;
FIGS. 8A-C are section views of corner support members according to alternate embodiments of the invention; and
FIGS. 9A-B are section views of corner support members in use; and
FIGS. 10A-D are section views of wall spacing members according to alternate embodiments of the invention.
In the descriptions which follow, like parts may be marked with the same numerals. The drawing figures are not necessarily drawn to scale and certain figures may be shown in exaggerated or generalized form in the interest of clarity and conciseness.
Referring now to
Pallet 100 includes bolt holes 108. Bolt holes 108 are designed to allow for various appliances to be directly attached to the pallet. Retaining bolts are placed through the holes and into an appliance to secure the pallet to the appliance. Adhesive attachment can also be used as can removable straps. Also included are feet holes 110 for placement of feet of appliance. Once the appliance (not shown) is attached to pallet 100, which in one disclosed embodiment includes bolts, the H shaped pallet 100 and the appliance can be moved as a single piece. A wide variety of attachment mechanisms can be implemented without detracting from the spirit of the invention.
In another embodiment, the frame of the appliance (not shown) can be attached to the pallet at the beginning stages of manufacture of the appliance. The appliance frame and the pallet are then moved along an assembly line allowing the appliance to be completed while attached to the pallet. The appliance and the pallet can then be packaged for shipment after completion of the appliance. A wide variety of appliances can be attached to the pallet, including as examples computers, ranges, washing machines, refrigerators and dish washers.
In another embodiment (not shown), the pallet 100 extends beyond the edges of the appliance and includes corners with extend up the edges of the appliance. In this embodiment the pallet is not necessarily attached to the appliance.
The interior views of the support members 102 and 104 are shown in
Cross member 106 is shown attached to support members 102 and 104. In one embodiment, the cross member 106 is manufactured with a smaller cross-sectional area than either of the support members 106. In this embodiment, the cross member 106 provides support to the support members 102 and 104 but does not directly bear the weight of the appliance. The cross member 106 increases the stiffness of the pallet and reduces the level of deflection under torsional loads. In another embodiment, the cross member 106 cross-sectional area is equal to the cross-sectional areas of the support members 102 and 104. In this embodiment, the cross member 106 provides support to the support members 102 and 104 and can be implemented to bear some of the weight of the appliance. In another embodiment, cross member 106 is attached to support members 102 and 104 at interior sides 102 a and 104 a. In another embodiment, the cross member 106 is attached to either the top or bottom surface of the support members 102 and 104.
Once the appliance is fully constructed and ready to be shipped, a cardboard box can be secured around the appliance to protect the appliance during transport. The cardboard box can be corrugated or non-corrugated. FIGS. 8A-C show alternate corner support member structures designed to be inserted in or near the corners of the cardboard box.
FIGS. 8A-C show cross-sections of the alternate corner support member structures. The structures of the preferred embodiment are extended to a predetermined length with a constraining cross section. The cross section includes internal support members 812. Curved internal support members 812 provide additional strength to the corner support member during use without incurring substantial increases in weight and expense. Also, during manufacture after the corner support member has been extruded and is cooling, internal support members 812 add support to the pliable walls until the walls can cool and strengthen. The internal support members 812 may be straight or have a curved profile. The corner support members may not have any internal support members or may have one or more internal support members depending on the type of internal support desired.
The alternate corner support member structures are formed from plastic, such as High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), however a wide variety of manufacturing materials may be used to form the support member structures without detracting from the spirit of the invention, including, but not limited to, HIPS, LDPE, polypropylene, polyethelene and Crosslink PE. The preferred thickness of the walls of the corner support member structures, such as internal support members 812, is between 0.010 and 0.100 of an inch in thickness.
The various corner support structures shown in FIGS. 8A-C can be contained within the walls of or proximate to an interior wall of a cardboard box or packing container. For example,
In FIGS. 10A-D, alternate embodiments of a wall spacing member are shown. The wall spacing member is a special type of corner support structure which extends past an outside wall of the appliance and contacts the inside wall of the container surrounding the appliance. The purpose of the wall spacing members is to form a standoff to distance the container from protrusions such as handles, knobs or display panels that extend past the outside wall, top or bottom of the appliance.
Referring now to
Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification or practicing the disclosed invention. The specification and examples above are exemplary only, with the true scope of the invention being indicated by the following claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|International Classification||B65D85/64, B65D81/05|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D2581/055, B65D85/64, B65D81/054|
|European Classification||B65D81/05B2, B65D85/64|
|Jul 9, 2012||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Nov 25, 2012||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jan 15, 2013||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20121125